random hangs/reboots with Dell servers

Derek Ragona derek at computinginnovations.com
Thu Apr 19 15:45:28 UTC 2007

At 05:54 AM 4/19/2007, Dimitris Zilaskos wrote:

>         Dear all,
>I am trying to understand some long standing issues we have with freebsd 
>and Dell servers.
>Over the last 3 year we have installed freebsd 5.x and 6.x, with currently 
>deployed version being 6.1, to a variety of of Dell rack mounted systems.
>The Dell systems used so far are Poweredge 1750, 2950 (both scsi), and 
>sc1425 (sata). All of them are dual CPU Xeon systems.
>All these systems serve as mail/web servers, with 2 to 15 jails.
>Installation has always proceeded normally without problems. However, 
>after a few months of operation, all of these systems, purchased at 
>different moments during the last 3 years, will begin rebooting randomly 
>or freezing completely.
>These reboots/freezes will at first occur once per 6 months, then 
>gradually will move to to once per month, to normally stabilize around 
>once per week, but in the case of the 1750 system once it even happened 
>twice a day.
>Load does not seem to matter, since even after shutting down all services 
>in the servers, still random reboots occured.
>So far we tried various tricks digged from the archives, like disabling 
>ACPI, HT, but nothing changed.
>We have migrated some systems that had these issues to RHEL compatible OS, 
>and they run rock solid under heavy load.
>Right now I have enabled kernel crash dumps and I am waiting for the next 
>crash. But I understad a lot of people use FreeBSD with Dell servers, and 
>I would like to listen on how to tackle this situation we are facing.

First make sure you are up-to-date on the FreeBSD version you are running, 
also make sure it is still a supported release.  If not, update your src 
and rebuild everything.

For the hardware I'd run complete diagnostics from dell on one of these 
servers, and any stress tests available as well.  If the hardware all 
checks out OK, I would look for either an environmental cause such as 
heat.  Heat can cause hardware problems that wouldn't show up 
otherwise.  If neither of these looks like the cause, then you may need to 
swap-out a system board, or RAM as it must be a hardware issue.


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